Case Study Rebranding Of Skoda

798 words - 3 pages

SkodaIntroductionThe re-branding of Skoda provides a useful case study of the challenges faced by brands wishing to reposition themselvesRemember the Skoda jokes?- What do you call a Skoda with a sun-roof? Answer: A skip- Why does a Skoda have a heated rear windscreen? Answer: To keep your hands warm when you push it- What do you call a Skoda with twin exhaust pipes? Answer: A wheelbarrowCritics of the Skoda would be surprised to hear the Skoda is now one of the fastest-growing car brands in the UK motor industry. The Czech car company boosted its sales in the UK in 2001 by 24% as opposed to the average market growth of 10.7%. This built on growth of 34% in 2000.How has this been achieved?BackgroundSkoda had a monopoly in car manufacturing in Czechoslovakia until the 1989 'Velvet Revolution'. After this the Czech government started looking for a commercial partner to revitalise its Skoda factories.In 1991, Volkswagen took a 30% stake in Skoda and started work in training and educating the workforce to Western quality standards. It invested over £2 billion in the plant, research, development and new models. Ten years later, in 2001, VW took total control of the business.The first two launches from the new Skoda camp were well-received by the automotive press. The Felicia - launched in 1994 - was built as an old-style Skoda, but enjoyed the benefit of VW features. The 1998 Octavia was built on the VW group platform.The costs of the improved VW car structure pushed up Skoda prices. The cars carried a higher price tag and Skoda needed to convince consumers that this price was worth paying.A VW marketing manager working for Skoda explained:"We needed to move away from being a cheap brand to being a value-for-money brand. At the same time, we badly needed to find our own positioning within the group, rather than just trading on being part of the VW Group. Otherwise, we might just as well have re-branded ourselves as VW, with very little reason for existence."Launch of the OctaviaSkoda's first VW-backed model was the Octavia. It was launched in the UK with a £10m promotional campaign- Skoda's highest-ever spend on a marketing campaign.However, the Octavia launch was a failure. Just 6,154 Octavia cars were sold over the year following the car's launch, despite the fact that the car achieved almost unanimously good...

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